Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Legislation to repeal the 3 percent TRS/SURS salary limitation introduced in the Illinois Senate and the House

Senate Bill 60: sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Plainfield) Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg), Sen. Rachelle Aud Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) and Sen. Neil Anderson (R-Andalusia).

House Bill 350: sponsored by Rep. Kathleen Willis (D-Addison), Rep. Michael Halpin (D-Rock Island), Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) and Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton).

Over the past few months, the IEA has been working closely with members of the legislature to repeal the recently-enacted 3 percent salary limit law that shifts the state’s cost of paying for an educator’s pensionable earnings to local school districts, institutions of higher education and local property tax payers. 

Educators across Illinois know this new law is having a chilling effect on educator professional development and is further inhibiting the ability of educational institutions to attract and retain educators into a profession that is in the midst of a career sustainability crisis.

1) This is a diversion of local resources: The new law takes money from your local classrooms and schools and sends it to Springfield.

2) The 3 percent limitation is being applied to active TRS and SURS members regardless of how close they are to retirement. Furthermore, many school districts and institutions of higher education are taking the position that all increases in compensation, for any reason, should not exceed 3 percent because they do not want to pay the additional costs of a pension payment. This reluctance is impacting the ability of these public schools and institutions to attract and retain the best and brightest while also having to compete against the private sector and out-of-state entities that can offer more attractive financial packages.

3) Career sustainability is at risk because of the 3 percent limitation. All type of pay is impacted, even compensation received as a result of pursuing a master’s degree or obtaining additional academic credentials, cost of living increases, stipends paid for extracurricular duties, coaching stipends, seniority payments, promotions (teacher to principal), overtime compensation, National Board Certified Teacher stipends and other duties that directly enhance the education of the students. It is true that the 3 percent limitation is a disincentive for school districts to offer any increase in compensation above 3 percent regardless of whether the educator goes the extra mile to be the best in their field.

Ask your state senator to support SB 60 and your state representative to support HB 350. Just click here and type in your address; you will be able to see who your lawmakers are and how to get in touch with them. They will be in their home offices until Jan. 29 when they return to Springfield for session. Please go see them while they are home and use the three talking points above in your conversations.

If you haven’t yet, take a moment 
to sign the petition. So far, more than 18,000 of your fellow IEA members have done so. 

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